Filly by Roberto Capucci

All the notes listed add up to this: a well-grounded, honey-kissed rose with the added sparkle of aldehydes. Think of it as a bridge between the romantic florals of the '50s and the greener, more androgynous women's fragrances of the '70s; the fragrance equivalent of wearing a lacy blouse with a well-worn pair of bell-bottoms. Somehow, it just works.

If you can get past the corny name and pedestrian bottle, you have yourself a real gem for next to nothing. Go easy on the sprays-- this filly's potent, and boy, can she run the distance (I get a good 8-10 hours on my dry skin).
Mar 2, 2019

U II by Ultima II

My sister and I split a bottle in the early 90's, I believe-- a strange little tennis ball with a black nub-textured rubberized column top. Egads!

I can't remember if this came out before or after CKone, but it was certainly part of the "I am citrus, hear me roar" movement that pre-dated or coincided with the birth of the aquatics.

Lord have mercy, this was about as subtle as a truckload of CK one (I'm talking vintage, here). Add some voluminous herbs to the neon citrus grove (the pyramid says "marjoram", but I suspect rosemary, too), and you've got yourself quite a concoction!

My sis and I put together never finished the bottle. I'm sure that someone, somewhere will lament this time capsule scent, but it ain't me.

Still, I can't quite give it a thumbs down, if only for the fact that, at the time, it was okay for a woman to smell like something other than a cupcake.
Aug 14, 2018

Sushi Imperiale by Bois 1920

Sushi Imperiale reminds me why I am a lover of linear scents.

Initial spray to 30 minutes in = the reformulation of Weil's Secret de Venus, a strong oriental with a familiar, almost metallic twang. Unisex, leaning feminine . . . interesting.

Thirty-One minutes to 2 hours (give or take) = just about every masculine patchouli dry-down, with a touch of amber and rubber . . . dull, bordering on unpleasant.

Two hours plus = skin scent masculine patchouli. Dull, bordering on pleasant.

All told, I'd cash in any one of the above stages for my screechy ol' Passion a la Liz Taylor, and yes, I do mean the $12.99 reformulation!

Apr 29, 2018

Eternity Air by Calvin Klein

A slighty less musky version of D&G's iconic Light Blue. I will say that the longevity is much better than Light Blue, so this may be a better alternative for lovers of that scent.
Mar 24, 2018

Perry Ellis Love by Perry Ellis

Despite the difference in notes, this is essentially a dupe for Chanel Chance (edt,not edp), albeit one that is gone an hour later. Worth a look if you don't mind frequent reapplications.
Sep 25, 2017

Mon Paris by Yves Saint Laurent

If you added pink pepper to this, and put it in a goofy double-bullet bottle, it would be Carolina Herrera's 212 Sexy.

Trust me, it's better with pepper.
Aug 24, 2017

Bronze by Ellen Tracy

Treacly, humid and off-putting. It's as if the powdery heliotrope and dense musk grabbed every conceivable bad combo (high-pitched white florals, cat pee iris, and overripe, oddly spiced fruit) and wouldn't let them go. "Sparkling lemonade" is listed in the scent deck, but the poor lemon didn't stand a chance, much less a sparkle.

On other sites, I see this recommended as a "cheap thrill," a bargain scent that smells much more expensive than its price would suggest. For me, however, it was a scrubber in the truest sense of the word.

Aug 20, 2017

Reem Acra by Reem Acra

The pleasantly zesty, citric opening quickly gave way to an amber-heavy musk that I swear I've smelled before. Then it hit me-- it was none other than Forever Krystal.

If you miss FK, or are curious about this cult classic (I don't-- hence the rating), Reem Acra might be a suitable substitute. It doesn't have the bombastic sillage or interminable longevity of FK,but the mimosa (not listed), amber and musk are prominent enough to effectively subdue the other notes.
Aug 15, 2017

Curve Chill for Women by Liz Claiborne

Of the zillion "Curves," this and Vintage Soul are the only ones that get my personal seal of approval.

True to its name, this scent is a warm weather treat-- cooling, clean and fresh. It reads like a summer version of Ralph Lauren's Romance (much more so than the one RL released as his Summer Romance!), with citrus front and center as opposed to rose/floral. Ginger and musk are nicely balanced.

Lasts about four hours on my skin.
Jul 23, 2017

Ginseng N.R.G. by Jovan

ortho123's review comes closest to my own assessment of N.R.G. If I could wear cedar (surely that's at least one component of the "sheer woods" accord), I would have held onto my bottle, saving it for the hottest of days. It's truly cooling and long-lasting.

I would also add that there is a metallic/marine accord similar to the original Inis. More refreshing than energetic.

Jul 2, 2017

Ysatis by Givenchy

You could loofah every inch of your body, emerge from shower with the steam still rising from your skin, put this on and smell STALE. I'm not saying that Ysatis in particular gave birth to the "fresh" ozonic 90's, but I'm not saying it didn't, either.

Jul 1, 2017

Forever Sexy by Victoria's Secret

While Bombshell was the "it" girl a year or so ago among trendy young women, and vintage Rapture was the darling of traditional Oriental fans, Forever Sexy just might be the VS scent for those of us in the middle.

Scent pyramids don't always line up with what my nose detects. Yes, that orange opening is nice and juicy (Belledonna? News to me . . .) but I'm getting some musk with that gardenia and the drydown reads more like tonka/ambroxan than amber.

All in all, I like this quite a bit. At this point in my life, it could be a trifle too sweet for a full bottle purchase, but still, a very nice surprise from VS. Lasted a good 5 hours on my skin, with better than average projection.
Jun 28, 2017

212 VIP by Carolina Herrera

Oh, how I wish the vanilla-bomb wearing girls that I work with would upgrade to this. Because they could have their beloved gourmandish vanilla tempered by rum, gardenia and fruity musk, making it much more interesting and mature.

While the vanilla is too "front and center" for me, this is a lovely, cozy, sweet scent miles above its peers. Silly name, bottle, and marketing campaign couldn't be doing it any favors. Definitely signature scent worthy, especially in cool/cold temps.
Jun 28, 2017

Cabaret by Grès

Deep, womanly rose/patchouli blend with a hefty heap of cedar. Reminds me (in spirit, if not in notes) of SJP's Lovely, with about the same amount of sillage and longevity (both very good).

Sounds rather innocuous, however, for me this scent is unwearable. It makes me sad. Not melancholy, not somber, just downright sad.

Scent is a curious sense, bringing about moods and memories that somehow circumvent our conscious, rational minds.

My experience seems to be unusual, if not unique, so I think this one is worth a try if you like deeper rose perfumes.
Jun 10, 2017

Anna Sui by Anna Sui

Recommended for Victorian era buffs and lovers of all things gothic. Because despite the number of notes, this one is all about a vintage-style powdery rose.

Not my taste, but thumbs up for longevity and value.
Jun 10, 2017

Claiborne for Men by Liz Claiborne

Bora Bora, Mambo, and ALL the Curves could learn from this one.

Toss out your preconceived notions and perhaps you will find what I do: a big, beautiful, broad-shouldered pine with hints of rose and leather on a mossy base. Interestingly, the sharp citric opening that I get in cool weather softens in the heat, leading me to believe that as a woman, perhaps I could "get by" with this one sprayed discretely (as I do with Aromatics Elixir).

An otherwise hip male friend of mine still wears this and always smells great.
May 30, 2017

No. 5 by Chanel

Anyone who has watched home shopping channels for any length of time has heard the phrase "you wear it-- it doesn't wear you." Now this is supposed to make you feel superior (with your whisper of scent) to those of us who still like to strut it (in the olfactory sense).

"The Five" does now, as it always has, wear me. And I don't mind a bit.

In my tiny wardrobe, I don't wear No. 5 or Panthere de Cartier as often as I do the others, but when I crave them, nothing else will do.

For what it's worth, I have never craved any of the 21st Century flankers-- they remind me of hearing the Blue Danube Waltz-- played on kazoos. Gimme the real thing, already!
May 30, 2017

Ma Vie Pour Femme by Hugo Boss

The first time I wore this was a cool fall day, and I was happily surprised. No melon, berry or vanilla notes which are usually requisite, especially at this price point. This is a casual, modern floral blend with a base deep enough to hold the scent together. Nice, but no reason to break out the charge card.

A recent wearing in humid weather, however, boosted its score. Ma Vie performs very well in the heat without being citrus or cucumber-laden. Maybe it's the cactus blossom that handles high temps? I can't say, but I do think that this would be a safe, welcome gift for the non-parfumista in your life who just wants to smell good.

Of no use whatsoever: Without my reading glasses, I thought this was called "Mauve."
May 29, 2017

Classic by Bath and Body Works

jcav422's nose is better than mine, and his review nails the essence of this classically masculine fragrance. It was a favorite of mine, and one of the very few colognes that I purchased for male family members. Obviously inspired by mid/late 20th century masculines, it possessed a "cleanliness" that was miles away from the 90's/early 2000's aquatic trend that is still with us today.

I agree with Possum-Pie's speculation that this very scent with different ("upscale") marketing would be sought after. Maybe even within its own store . . . repackaged in a CW Bigelow retro-chic bottle, it could live again. After all, if the handlebar mustache can make a comeback, anything is possible.
May 28, 2017

Live in Love by Oscar de la Renta

My favorite Oscar-- so different from the powder/aldehyde Oscars of yore. Such a lovely "clear" (my term for powder-free) floral that invokes the "spring in a bottle" cliche.

Unfortunately for me, it disappears VERY quickly, but I know longevity varies quite a bit. If you're one of the lucky ones who can keep the scent, flaunt it! For those who remember, the opening reminds me quite a bit of Eau de Gucci Concentree (1979 release).
May 28, 2017

Stella In Two - Peony by Stella McCartney

I liked the original Stella and love peony, so naturally I thought this would make my hit parade.

But, no. My experience echoes sumitav's. With a lower price tag, I'd give it a neutral rating, but the price of this nondescript fleeting floral makes my thumbs point south.
May 28, 2017

Sublime by Jean Patou

Soft, feminine and refined. Naturally, I loathe it.

Vanilla and a cloud of powder. In a bottle. This is a current edt, so I'm thinking that the vintage has a lot more complexity. For a dirt cheap version of this, try Ciel by Ulric de Varins.
May 24, 2017

Sauvage by Christian Dior

Has the warmth of Stetson and the spice of Bang.

If the above sentence made you wince, you're not its intended market. But if it made you smile, join the club.

I don't give a bag of beans about Johnny Depp or the house of Dior. All I know is there is something inexplicably masculine and appealing about this scent. From what I've read, I'm not the only female to think so.

And the comparisons to Bleu de Chanel? No. Just no.
May 24, 2017

Orange Sapphire by Bath and Body Works

Loved the lotion. The edt? Not so much.

When the gorgeous burst of tangerine left (maybe after 10 minutes), I was left with a heavy musk that had no trace of citrus whatsoever. The lotion, on the other hand left behind lovely hints of slightly spiced (just a whisper of clove?) tangerine/vetiver.

In general, I seem to have better luck with BBW's bath products than their proper fragrances.
May 23, 2017

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